Absent Bucs Among Top Cornerback Duos

June 2nd, 2023

Jamel Dean

Many Bucs fans remember the anger and fire that fueled The Gravediggers, the self-glossed nickname of the 2020 Buccaneers secondary. It was born from the NFL Network preseason ranking that said the Bucs had the worst cornerbacks unit in the league.

Man, that sparked quite a rage at One Buc Palace. But, you know, players don’t care about that kind of stuff. Joe is being sarcastic. They certainly care. And in this case, various young Bucs in the secondary were vocal about it.

A new backhanded slap at Bucs cornerbacks came this week from a former NFL defensive back and student of cornerback play, SiriusXM NFL Radio analyst Solomon Wilcots.

He was tasked with ranking the top starting cornerback tandems in the NFL.

One might think Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis should be on the list based on their fat paychecks and Super Bowl rings, but they were not. And fans can’t blame the Bucs playing out of the spotlight.

Davis and Dean have played in a ton of prime time games in the past few season.

Here are Wilcots’ rankings:

Darius Slay and James Bradberry (Eagles)
Rasul Douglas and Jaire Alexander (Packers)
D. J. Reed and Sauce Gardner (Jets)
Tariq Woolen and rookie Devon Witherspoon (Seahawks)
Jalen Ramsey and Xavien Howard, (Dolphins)

Wilcots also gave a nod to Stephon Gilmore and Trevon Diggs (Cowboys).

By then, Joe was incensed and didn’t pay attention to the other team tandem Wilcots noted that wasn’t the Bucs.

So are Davis and Dean being disrespected? Joe’s not sure.

Neither Davis nor Dean is a ballhawk and, as Rondé Barber often says, that’s what separates good corners from great ones. Dean and Davis do not have a postseason interception between them, and Dean has never had more than two picks in a season. Davis had one pick last year.

Of course, neither has made a Pro Bowl or even been an alternate.

Still, they are excellent players capable of a breakout year in 2023. And it might help if someone brings this new ranking to their attention.

Flashback video below.

31 Responses to “Absent Bucs Among Top Cornerback Duos”

  1. Austin Says:

    These lists are so stupid, they are popularity contests like the pro bowl. You have a rookie up there? Gtfoh Joe shared because it wasn’t presented as a popularity contest — by a former NFL defensive back. Plus, Dean and Davis are well known and rather popular. Many considered Dean the top cornerback on the free agent market. –Joe

  2. Austin Says:

    I want seatbelt cornerbacks, always in the hip pocket of the receiver breaking up passes. The picks will come, but I don’t want them to get burned like Diggs

  3. Brandon Says:

    Dean is top 10 and Davis top 16. How many teams have two CBs in the top 16 of the NFL? Who cares what outsiders believe?

  4. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    We need to help them with some kind of a pass rush!

  5. Colonel Angus Says:

    Without the Goat the Bucs are back to being an afterthought on the national stage. I like it that way, makes it that much sweeter when we win.

  6. TonySoprano Says:

    Joe thanks you for your patronage. –Joe

    In regards to the actual content of the article…it sucks but Davis seems like a guy that got his fat new paycheck and has checked out. His play sucked last year, and no surprise he’s been a no-show during OTAs. Hope he’s not rubbing off on Dean. I know that if I just got a huge pay raise, I’d be doing everything I could to prove it was going the right decision. I know these are voluntary workouts but can’t help that it rubs me the wrong way the guy that just got awarded a $13M annual paycheck can the bothered to show up.

  7. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    No pro bowls, and yet the Bucs paid a king’s ransom for EACH.

    The CB market is inflated by bad teams who think quick success can be bought with a cornerback even though they see only a tiny piece of each ballgame.

    How’d the Bucs do with Darrelle Revis? oh yeah, 4-12.

  8. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    Why do I suspect that had Bowles been a defensive end back in the day, they wouldn’t have overpaid for these personnel in the secondary?

  9. DurableDooosh Says:

    But you spelled Ronde right

  10. sasquatch Says:

    Ranking, wanking, list-making, blah blah blah. More offseason horsesh!t.

  11. Seth B Says:

    Getting on Ira for his edits… check how many times you put David out there… Lol
    LOL back at you. Nobody got on Ira for his edits. He got on himself for his edits. Ira is a perfectionist. –Joe

  12. Pickgrin Says:

    Joe – check your spelling…

    You wrote “David” instead of Davis 3 times towards the end of the article.

    I like our CBs. Dean and Davis are the best pair of CBs this team has had in about 20 years.

  13. AtlBuc Says:

    These analyst like to be right all of the time so they like to pick at what they consider the low hanging fruit, our beloved Bucs. But I’m glad we’re getting bullied by the press. This should be enough to put a chip on the shoulders of our guys that will make them relentless on the field. Too bad other NFL teams and players are going to have to cash checks written by the talking heads. We are going to be physical and fast and after we beat up on the Eagles, teams are not going to want to play us. The talking heads will change their tunes, the band wagon riders they are, but it will not be enough to appease the anger created by all of these disrespectful articles!!
    Look out NFL!! here comes the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baby!!

  14. Brandon Says:

    I’m posting this here as I know the site link will make my comment go into moderation.

    This SI article ranks top 10 WRs in the game… no Mike Evans!

    [You are right about the link. 🙂 Saw that list day or two ago. Typical. Basically, you have to put up fantasy football numbers to be considered top-tier by too many folks. smh — Joe]

  15. Statguy Says:

    Someone said dean is top 10? He is the fastest guy on the team and always finds a way to be out of position and is hurt half of the season. Davis isn’t too 16,stop The bucs have 2 number 2 CBs. All those teams listed have at least one number 1 CB

  16. AtlBuc Says:


    We need to take you back to the days of Sterling Moore, Hey Jude, Robert McClain and Vernon Hargreaves and Brent-I-don’t-get-paid-enough-to guard-their-number-one-receiver-Grimes. And the Lovie and Mike Smith defenses where the CB’s practiced social distancing before COVID was ever heard of. If Bucs fans appreciate any position, its corner back.

  17. Pewter Power Says:

    James Bradberry Really??? Darius slay somehow got “better” once he signed with the eagles but I remember him in Detroit yea when evans like him up for almost 200 yards

  18. garro Says:

    Not saying our guys don’t deserve some recognition.
    But in my mind they are not top five Joe.
    Ronde is right. Good but not great.
    We have had great ones who made game chnging plays regularly.
    Our guys steady good but not in the great catagory yet. Hope they are top five this year. A top five pass rush would help them out this year. That should help with the picks.

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    Obviously I’ve missed the point of this article, but I don’t give a rat’s arse whether or not Carlton Davis or Jamel Dean rank ahead of Seattle’s Tariq Woolen and rookie Devon Witherspoon. What I do care about is that NEITHER of them saw fit to show up for (admittedly voluntary) OTAs.

    It seems to me that 2 starting CBs raking in a total of $30 mil between them this year would want to help this team do very well. It would also seem that their presence at OTAs could help some of our ‘youngsters’ become better players. And oh ya, that ‘practice really does make perfect’ as my old hockey coach used to preach, so MAYBE their skills would improve in the process.

    Someone needs to remind the NFL that they’re in the BUSINESS of providing ENTERTAINMENT. And to become (and stay) great at any craft takes dedication & commitment. And oh ya, practice. This VOLUNTARY stuff is for the birds.

  20. Destinjohnny Says:

    It took us drafting 10 guys to find these 2……

  21. Dooley Says:

    PFF has Dean ranked in 7th amongst the other top 10 CBs in the league, not too bad for a former 3rd rounder and I’m not worried about Carlton Davis being absence. Been reading Zyon McCollum has been able to take advantage of those guys not being at voluntary workouts and getting a lot more reps than he would if D&D were there.

    “And the Lovie and Mike Smith defenses where the CB’s practiced social distancing before COVID was ever heard of. ”


    🤣🤣🤣 it’s funny because it’s true

  22. Stanglassman Says:

    Garro. Nobody is complaining they’re not top 5. They have them ranked 32nd. OUT of 32 teams.

    Revis was here on the back side of his career used this team as a rehab paycheck. Not a great point. Davis was solid last year but they both need to get more Ints. Nobody knows the conversations Davis had with their coaches about attending OTAs. Getting more reps for younger guys in voluntary OTAs is sometimes preferable. If they don’t show up next mandatory (6/13-15) camp that’s anther story.

  23. Beej Says:

    Admittedly picks are nice, but preventing the OTHER TEAM from completing passes is paramount, and those guys do that quite well

  24. Dooley Says:

    Carlton Davis vs. Ja’Mar Chase last year is a great example of that

  25. 97 bucBaby Says:

    Neither deserved a second contract both bums frfr both horrible in zone even tho they been in the defense for 5 yrs. Get hurt on every tackle especially Davis or when he gets burnt he fakes injuries out of embarrassment. Dean gets beat to much caught wondering a lot. All we have is Winfield and he’s becoming injury prone 🤷🏾‍♂️ WORST SECONDARY AND LINEBACKERS … hell passRUSHERS TOO

  26. Destinjohnny Says:

    Go back and look at all the missed DB’s we have had under licht.
    Sorry to be on his ass but man if I don’t draft we’ll u don’t win.

  27. Stanglassman Says:

    Bucbaby is a perfect name for you.

  28. 97 bucBaby Says:

    Lol yea ok @stanglassman week 1 you’ll see 😂 perfect matchup for the big paid corners in their 5 yr in the system. Why you think Bowles putting Winfield back at free safety. 1 getting to nicked up and 2 dem boys need help CD and JD. Better pay attention to other positions other than QB buddy now that Brady’s gone. Not like our front 7 helps them, hell even if they did lol

  29. LongSeason Says:

    I keep waiting for them to break out. Is it the players or is it the scheme?
    One reason players for Monte Kiffin said they were able to back so many apple turnovers is simple. Monte put them in position to make plays.
    Until these two start making plays they won’t become great.

  30. Don’t make a scene 35 Says:

    35 24 go prove em wrong

  31. Stanglassman Says:

    Baby-If you were concerned about corner depth I would agree. I think the starting outside guys are solid. Nickel concerns me because it wasn’t addressed in the draft or FA. Speaking of FA I love Ryan Neal pickup. Lots of Buc fans are sleeping on the importance of that signing. I’m just not sure McCollum or Delaney are ready to start at nickel.

    Brady was bad last year but I’m not sure if it mattered too much because the league had figured out sponge bob’s offense and he had no counter moves. Not to mention the barrage of OL injuries they endured.

    This new OC has me optimistic because it’s a QB friendly system that gets WRs open and gets rushing yards. We will see who’s right. I don’t expect 10 plus wins but we won’t be drafting top five either.